Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tool Sheds #2: Platelayers Hut

A newly completed plate-layer's hut at Tidmoth's Shunting Yards! This was a nice building to make, taking only a day to construct it and weather it, with a few nice accessories to share for this post.

For this tool shed, I wanted to make a building that could add interest in the yard. In addition to  experimenting more with my mix of brick colors, and adding a sloped gable-overhang to the shingled roof, I wanted to make some eye-catching details. In these pictures, I added posters on the sides, one for a notice and a timetable, each with cream paper and hunter green trim. I have them attached with rolled scotch tape so I could rearrange them.

I am especially happy with making these scratch-built fire buckets! At yards and stations, they are full of ether sand or water to put out fires or for other emergencies. I rolled a thin strip of card-stock around a brush handle and glued it to make the side of the bucket, then glued on a thin strip for the lip of the bucket, and the handles. I also glued it on a strip of paper and cut it for the base.

Two of the buckets are hung onto the wall of the shed with painted toothpick ends. One of the separate buckets on the ground has its handles down, and for the other bucket, its handle is up for these workmen to use! 

For this shed, those red buckets and signs add a nice spark of color that can be pleasing to look at on the layout, and these small details give buildings their own character and charm.

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brendam Docks Layout Plans

These are some drawings of a layout for Brendam Docks! If I was to make a huge layout, for this section of Sodor, these are a few sections of how I would like to see Brendam Modeled.

Carefully observing how the scenes were filmed on the dioramas of Brendam for Thomas' TV Series in seasons 2 - 10, I tried combining them together into one whole section of the main port, where you can see Cranky, the Sidings, the Unloading Bays in front of the Sodor Shiping Co. Building, and even the Passenger Unloading Dock where Evening Star is a welcome visitor. There is also the Ballast Unloading Dock, with its nearby open air shed, factory buildings, The Supply Shed, and a few other sheds, one by the sidings, by Cranky, and at the end of the quay.

The whole site is dotted with cranes, cargo, and sidings. I have modeled a couple of versions of this location a few times, yet as I come back to the TV series, even the Railway Series, I find intriguing details and beautiful shots I can draw to remember for the next time I model a layout. That is the beauty of making temporary dioramas! You can change or redo any location.

I found some beautiful photographs of the Ramsgate Harbor Railway Station, and a few models of the terminus on flickr, I thought it would be nice to draw Brendam's Passenger Station, seen in a few shots from seasons 2 - 4, just made up of Knapford's building props. This drawing has platforms for buses to pick up and drop off passengers, many benches on the quay for the people to enjoy the ocean view while they wait, and of course a large glass roof. A beautiful scene showing one of the harbor's ferries could be seen in "Gordon and the Gremlin" in season 5, one of Fulton's Car Ferries.

Finally this drawing shows what I perceive to be East Brendam, where Bill and Ben's branchline from the China Clay works connect to the Docks. This layout plan displays many of the scenes shown in season 3, with its tall warehouses and quay, cranes, and canal boats, from "All At Sea" and other episodes with Bill and Ben.

These were fun to draw! I hope you like these. Even if I break them up into smaller, temporary dioramas for photographs and video, these scenes seem to me that they would be beautiful models.

 Click here to see how I made the scenes of Brendam

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tips for Realistic Track: #2: Overgrowth

Once I made a small diorama for an old disused branchline, and I used some materials I'd like to share for creating some really old and overgrown sections of track on your layout.

In this picture, every scenic element is actually loose, not permanent! I wanted to create this on a wooden board to see what the track would look like with different scenic materials. Dried sand is used with sifted dirt, rocks found out in the yard and on the driveway in various courses, and some sprinkled ground foam from Woodland Scenics. In the corners of the photo are small twigs, moss, and lichen. This was very beautiful for and old section of Toby's tramway, this track running from the mountains down to the marketplace in the village.

So if your diorama or railway layout is going to be temporary or permanent, as I have stressed before, it is a good idea to do a little research and study from life, from photographs online to other model railroaders and their work. This will help you achieve the look you want.

Here are some links to somevery useful and successful scenic products you might know:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tidmoth Goods Shed #3: Completion

Here is the completed goods shed! All finished and ready for service. For the structures in the yards at Tidmoth, this would be good for storing coaches or mail cars, or to fix the wagons needing repair. For this post, here are some more pics for you to see.

In this view, you can see the weathered windows, the semi-columns in relief, and even the drain pipes, made both from card and some wood skewers. I liked making this effect for the Walthers Warehouse, as it made the drain pipes three-dimensional. Strips of card wrap around the "tube" to fasten it to the roof.

Here is the completed glass roof, and a picture showing it under construction. I made it from the A-frames, and glued more strips of balsa to make the window panes. Then I glued the clear styrene for the glass, and built the metal roof around it.

On the other side is the blank wall, with a close up of the small spires on the gables for railway ornamentation. As I plant this shed in my scenes, I can add a lean-on or side buildings, or show it on a different side, so I could use it in more than one diorama.

Thomas and James are shown here for some shots of the interior. They look nice under the light that shines into the shed from the glass roof. So do the A-frames and roof supports.

 Overall this was a great project, and I was glad to make buildings again. Using the foam core made this structure stronger and gave it depth, and it was fun creating the gables and the glass roof. I think as I make more drawings, I'll post them for you, and some more of the photographs from the sets I made in my room as I created them. Feel free to leave comments!

Happy Modeling!

Bachmann Mavis ~ Painting & Weathering

"Mavis purrs happily as she heads to Ffarquar Station, along Toby's Quarry Line, with her train of stone."

I remember how exited I was when Mavis came to the hobby shop! This was a picture I took for some clips of her on this section of the line, and below are some pics showing her weathered.

So for Mavis, I wanted to consider where she worked, at a quarry, which (surprise, surprise!) affects how she looks, as her paintwork has quarry dust, soot, oily patches, and rust. Here she will receive a "dusting" with dry-brush weatheringusing Plaid FolkArt and Apple Barrel acrylic paints, and maybe some powdered pastels scraped and gently brushed.

Here she is visiting the yards at Tidmoth, resting in the siding under spring sunshine.  Looks much better on set with good weathering!

Fish Van #1: 12 Ton Ventilated Van

For this post I thought I'd share pictures of one of many vans from Bachmann Branchline I painted and weathered as they would have from trains such as the Flying Kippar and other wagons in the yards of Knapford or Tidmoth.

This was one of the first I had purchased, and one of my favorites. It is gray, weathered in a dusty color, with a few hints of rust and grime.

My favorite part about this van is the vents on either end, and the detail in the rivets. I remember one being made for the Bachmann line of Thomas products, painted in nice colors and having the chassis molded from other wagons. Retail value was $25, this Bachmann Branchline at about $18.  I really appreciate Bachmann Branchline's attention to detail and realism in their wonderful models, which you can purchase much cheaper for excellent quality.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tidmoth Goods Shed #2: Body Shell

Here is the shed half completed. All that it needs is the roof! This shed it turning out better than I expected, so I am happy with it so far, and more will be shown soon of its progress.

Emily actually looks quite at home inside, and pretty realistic the way this shed is being modeled! Here in this picture, you can see the thickness of the foam core around the windows. I glued strips of brick-colored card to make it show the trim of the window frame's brickwork being unpainted, compared to the plastered walls, and wooden panel slapped on the lower half of the interior wall.

These A-frame girders turned out well, here being shown before they're covered up with the roof. Each rests on the semi-column of the wall.

After some thought, I decided to make two roof windows to let light inside, and this allows the viewer to look inside and see the intricate girders. It was fun making these things from scratch!

So were the wooden ends! Here, similarly to the carriage shed on the Skarloey railway, these painted wooden planks cover the A-frames on each end. Instead of paper, I tried using individual strips of balsa glued together on a card in the back, and used two pieces for the gable.

Half done, right now I am working on the roof and glass. That will be posted soon.

Tidmoth Goods Shed #1: Construction

A few days ago, I decided to make another goods shed, one that could be built for Tidmoth. So today, I wanted to post some photographs to show my construction process for this building.

I remember looking through some pages of a book of "The King of the Railway," and there was a 2-stall engine shed, where James, Emily, Gordon and Diesel were taking on water or being washed. It looked similar to some standard gauge sheds I've seen in seasons 4 and 5, and even the carriage shed on the Skarloey railway. It had a nice design, and it looked big and roomy for Percy's mail cars or either some coaches or wagons!

When I have an idea for a new structure, I sketch thumbnails and detailed drawings with measurements for construction. For this shed, I tried drawing doors, the three lamps seen in the illustration, and tried drawing two variations of how the side of the shed's wall would look.

So before New Year's Eve, I used the measurements in the drawings to start construction.

I decided to try something different for this shed. I had some spare foam core, so I cut them into strips, and measured out sections of the wooden semi-columns for gluing.

Then I drew the windows, and cut them out using my hobby knife. Now I can glue the wood in place with white glue.

I wanted to create a nicely detailed interior, which is just as important as the exterior! So I did the same process on the other side. I decided to have windows on only one side, as many goods sheds do in yards with walls or roads running along side it.

After the second wall was made, I placed Emily and some track between the walls to check and see how wide I wanted the shed to be. Now I can begin decorating!

Using both white glue and super-glue for the tight edges, I folded and fixed strips of my textured card-stock around the plain wall on one side. It took a lot of folding and bending to get a snug fit. I think it might have been better if I had cut the strips separately, which would make the edges look sharper, not as round as they appear here.

I made separate strips for the other wall cut out for the windows, which were painted and glued on the back. This was tricky as I had to use narrower strips to make the layers of paper flat, which didn't turn out to be as deep as the wall on the other side. But after the clear plastic for the glass was put in place, and the layers of paper were made for the semi-columns, this wall actually turned out great.

Next I painted the interior. I used extra foam core for the semi-columns as I ran out of the flat wood strips, but this looked better. As I painted the paper of the foam core, and as there were wrinkles on the surface, it gave the illusion of plaster or concrete. The brick wall was wrapped and glued around the thickest columns on each end.

Finally I glued a strip of card around the bottom, for the trim running around the wall's foundation. Now I was ready to paint!

I mixed Folk Art paints for the bricks, the same mixed colors I used to paint the Walthers Warehouse. I used terracotta and a mixture of pink. as it was wet on the wall, I dry-brushed lighter shades, mixing in a linen color as I worked, which created depth. Then I did the same for the other side, weathering the window panes as I went.

The last thing I want to show for this post is the construction of the A-frames for the interior. I sketched a template to align the wood as I glued them together. The lowest cross-beam has card strips for the flush metal girder edges.

I used this technique for the Open Air Sheds, and I found excellent results using it for the Knapford Goods Shed; now I can use it to support the singled roof. Six of these were made, and after spraying them with primer and waiting for them to dry, I painted them using Hunter Green, the color I used for the windows and trim.

I hope you've enjoyed these photographs. The next post will show this shed closer to completion, so it will be uploaded soon.